After years of hobby cider making, around 1999 we decided to start a cidery. There wasn’t a lot of information available at the time so we took a trip through England, France and Northern Spain to learn more about it. The trip through the “old world” convinced us that producing traditional styles of cider was what we wanted to do. Because we were certified organic, we knew that ease of cleaning and sanitation would be critical to our success and searched for tanks that would fit the bill, and that were also affordable. We found information about Flextanks and in 2008 we bought our first set!
While we had planned to buy more barrels and stainless tanks, the Flextanks were so convenient and fit our needs so well that we continued to buy them over the years. Flextanks allowed us to expand our operation and stay within our limited budget.
We find the 300 gallon size to be perfect for us, they are easy to stack them away when not it use. They work equally well for small batch fermentation and for cider storage. We appreciate the micro-oxygenation that happens with the heavy wall polyethylene and the fact that they can be cleaned just like our stainless tanks and barrels with hot water and sanitizers. We also love now easy it is to treat tanks with oak staves, chip or cubes, and the built in sample taps make it easy to monitor the cider.
We have been using some of these tanks for 12 years and have never had a problem, the folks at Flextank have always been helpful and great to deal with. The fact they are manufactured so centrally in Vancouver, WA also makes pick up or delivery super convenient.Nancy & Bear BishopOwners & Cidermakers, Alpenfire Cider
I’ve used Flextank vessels for 5 vintages with great success and many best in class wines. The versatility and ease of use of the Apollo tank allows me to focus on small lots with attention to detail and allow for gentle skin contact for a clean and proper extraction.
We congratulate Eric and Emily Harris of Two-EE’s Winery in Indiana, who were honored with 15 awards achieving the highest collective scoring points awarded by the judges. They started Two EE’s with 12 Apollos and have since added other tanks. At the last two “International Wine Channel TV Awards” (2013 & 2014) they garnered the Rising Star Winemaker award.Eric HarrisOwner & Winemaker Two EE’s Winery
I used your Stacker Tanks this year for some of my Pinot Noir. In blind tasting I found most people preferred the Flextank made wine over new French oak barrels. I also used the Dexter 80 Gallon cylinders for whites with oak for very short times. People loved these wines too.Don Hagge, PhDFarmer & Winemaker, VIDON Vineyard, LLC
We first came across Flextank’s Apollo tanks on a visit to Napa in 2013, and were fortunately able to source them in for the 2014 vintage in South Africa. Started with a couple of Apollo tanks for the 2014 vintage, but were so impressed with them that we now have 12 of them at our cellar.
We love the versatility of Flextanks, and the high levels of hygiene and purity they bring to our wines. They are perfect for fermenting both white wine and red wines on the skins, and are extremely easy to clean and keep full. The fact that we get oxygen permeability without oak influence really works well with our approach of trying to make wines that express a sense of place.
The Apollo tanks are also perfect for small batch experiments where we want to test a new vineyard or winemaking technique, but want to ensure the lowest volatility or other faults in the wine. It’s often hard to maintain the highest possible quality on small batches, but our Apollo tanks consistently deliver!Andrea MullineuxOwner & Winemaker Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, 2016 Winemaker of the Year - Wine Enthusiast
Now, the use of plastic tanks gives winemakers an even better container for more accurate control of a wine’s development at a fraction of the cost of a barrel…Using Flextanks contributes to your bottom line in three important ways; a) helping you make better wines, b) at lower production costs, and c) with greater assurance that the wines remain under your control.Richard Carey, PhDWinemaker, Tamanend Winery
We employ a variety of techniques and cooperage types (stainless, barrels, concrete tanks, and Flextanks). Flextanks have become an absolutely indispensable tool in our goal of making delicious wines in a range of styles. In addition to being the best tanks to maximize the use of oak alternatives, our Flextanks are loved by our cellar staff — easy to clean, space efficient, and convenient for making additions. We also lose less wine to evaporation and need to make fewer sulfur additions than to our wines aging in barrels. We have made several wines exclusively in Flextanks from press to bottle and are thrilled with the results.Mark McKennaWinemaker
Flextanks are an integral part of our winemaking program and have been since the 2008 harvest, when a fellow winemaker suggested them. We bought one 300 gal Flextank Stacker, used it for a year, loved the results and immediately purchased a half dozen more.
We lack space in our winery and the footprint of one Flextank (5 bbls of wine) is less space than two double stacked bbls. And storing them when not in use? I can stack them outside, three or even FOUR high!
We are currently using them to age both our reds and housing our whites prior to bottling. With the red wines I’ve begun experimenting with oak inserts in the Flextanks and have discovered that I’m needing less new French Oak, thus saving a bunch of cash. What I REALLLY love them for is racking! All we do is raise the FlexTank with a forklift, open the valve and gravity feed from one Flextank to another. And unlike barrels, they are easy to clean and they last forever… I’m sold!Squire Fridell2014 & 2015 President Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance Winemaker, Vineyard Manager CEO, CFO, COO, EIEIO, WINO and Janitor GlenLyon Vineyards & Winery, Two Amigos Wines
Your product has enabled me to have complete control of pristine sanitation practices inside and outside the vessel. Cost effective re-usability for many years without wine compromise experienced with used barrels. Ease of storage without barrel maintenance while empty between uses. Sampling for testing is now quick, simple and sanitary without need of opening and consequent air exposure I have much better control of what type and how long I keep my wine on oak. I have seen much more clarity of wine flavors, complexity of berry flavors are more fully retained.Sandy MubarakCo-winemaker, Vineyard & Winery Manager for Old Coach Vineyards
Bottom line is we are winning multiple awards every year for the clarity and complexity of our wine. It enables the winemaker to do the absolute best to bring quality grapes to exquisite wines. Thank you for bringing us this sustainable and affordable improvement on the world’s fine wines.
I have new oak equivalent each year without the potential for contamination from the barrels. The cleaning and labor is so much easier. I do not have to lift the tanks and I can crawl right inside for cleaning.
I consult for over a hundred small wineries and frequently recommend Flextanks. They breathe like a barrel — unlike a stainless steel vessel, they allow off-gassing as well as oxygen uptake. In concert with well-selected oak alternatives can yield aging results comparable or superior to a good French Oak barrel at a fraction of the cost. We prefer their design to other plastic containers because they are designed to be topped and don’t have any air pockets.
The Apollo egg is a wonderfully convenient fermentation vessel, so easy to load, punch down, secure for fruit fly-free extended maceration, and dump into a press. Its corner-less design make cleaning a breeze.Clark SmithOwner, WineSmith Wines & Consulting and Author, Post Modern Winemaking